Hawk Board Elections

Please be aware:

due to the new data protection laws (GDPR), the BFC need to get permission from our eligible voting members (Associate and Full) to share their names and addresses with the HB.  The information will only be used for the sending of the manifestos and ballot papers and will then be deleted.

Please email the secretary admin@britishfalconersclub.co.uk  to give permission for your details to be passed to the HB.


The British Falconers’ Club holds a minimum of personal data relating to its current and past members. This data is used solely for supplying club and falconry-related information both electronically and in printed form, and for the gathering of subscriptions. No personal data is shared with third parties. The club holds data securely for use where appropriate by its secretary, officers, and nominated individuals.

All new applicants for membership will be asked to consent to our holding a minimum of their personal data, consistent with the effective running and management of the British Falconers’ Club.

This consent is a requirement of membership.

At renewal of membership, existing members will be asked to confirm consent to our holding a minimum of their personal data, consistent with the effective running and management of the British Falconers’ Club.

This consent is a requirement of continued membership.

Suggested letter for your MP (revised)

A suggested letter to your Member of Parliament regarding the Amendments to the Animal Welfare Act. Please edit and use as you see fit.


I write to you as my Member of Parliament to express the anger I feel at the manner in which DEFRA has proceeded with the proposed amendments to the Animal Welfare Act that currently stand in statutory instrument before Parliament.

I am informed by those who have taken legal advice on this matter that whilst it is clear that DEFRA has consulted according to their statutory remit, they have not done so effectively, fairly, nor in the spirit of openness.

After the public consultation in 2015, that was far from clear in its intended scope, DEFRA failed to constitute the expert panel with appropriate expertise from the bird of prey fraternity. I point out that a single representative from the ‘pet industry’ does not suffice – birds of prey are not pets and whilst it may be convenient to categorise them as such for legislative purposes, it has no veracity and the representative had no expertise.

The amendments to the Animal Welfare Act as they relate to birds of prey will be much less effective having bypassed those very practitioners who could have contributed the most.

Some of us have now had sight of the revised guidance notes that will accompany the legislation. Even here there has been no effective sharing with stakeholders, instead they have been drip-fed to selected members of the fraternity with instruction not to share. We are told that we have until Friday 16th March to make comment.

I observe that relating to the licensing requirement that will capture professionals and many hobbyists, the criteria being proposed are vague and contradictory, so much so that each local authority and its inspectors will have to interpret rather than be guided clearly. This is plainly open to subjectivity and ideological interference.

The Small Business Impact Assessment that accompanies the proposals is fantasy. DEFRA undertook  this as a desk-top exercise well in advance of the final drafts being undertaken and without any consultation with industry or hobbyist sectors. Keeping birds of prey requires specialist attention – local authorities do not have this and training inspectors will be time consuming and expensive. Far from having little impact, what is now before Parliament is likely to put a number of small scale commercial breeders and other bird of prey enterprises out of business and if as I suspect, hobbyists are captured by the legislation despite ostensively being ‘out of scope’, the imposition is intolerable. We request that the Better Regulation Executive be asked to review the process which is far from best practice.

There are many other issues that will arise from these poorly written and ill considered amendments and the associated guidance.

Falconers, breeders, educationists, display givers, bird abatement and pest controllers have always conducted their relationships with DEFRA as honest and constructive stakeholders. To be bypassed in consultation so systematically has caused anger and frustration. I believe that for civil servants to ignore appropriate and freely available expertise is negligent.

We are advocates of high welfare standards and will continue working with the Sustainable Users Network, the Countryside Alliance and others, to have our voice heard.

I ask you to represent me by seeking that the Minister addresses my concerns and requesting that DEFRA reconsider its engagement to ensure that the amendments before Parliament will actually promote an improvement in welfare for our birds of prey. I believe that Parliament’s Regulatory Committee should become involved to scrutinise DEFRA’s practice and processes.The current ignorant and ill-judged proposals will penalise amateur and professional keepers alike and do little to address the stated objective of welfare.


Yours sincerely,


Natural England’s Wildlife Licence Charges consultation – Specimen Response

Specimen Response Natural England Licence fee charges consultation


1. What is your name?
2. What is your email address?
3. Are you answering on behalf of an organisation or as an individual?

4. What is your interest in wildlife licensing or profession?

Academic / researcher / curator / museum professional Archaeologist / scheduled monument manager Beekeeper / bee breeder Developer / builder / architect / civil engineer Ecological or environmental consultant Farmer / gamekeeper / forester / fishery manager Government (national) employee Gull egg harvester or seller / bluebell bulb seller Lawyer Local government employee Minerals / quarry industry operator Nature conservation organisation employee Taxidermist Transport (road / rail / harbour / airport)Utility company employee Volunteer working with licensed species Wild bird photographer Wildlife hospital / wildlife rehabilitation / keeper of non-native animals Other (please describe)
Prefer not to say

Other interest / profession – please describe here: Falconer

Individual responders are directed to Question 8

5. What organisation do you represent?

6. How big is your organisation?

self-employed micro (0-9 employees) small (10 – 49 employees) medium (50 – 249 employees) large (250 or more employees)

7. Which sector is your organisation in?

Academic or research Ecological or planning consultancy Developer / minerals / extractive industry Energy or utility company NGO Farming / fishing / forestry Local government National government organisation Other

8. Do you have any comment on the proposal to introduce charges to improve delivery of the licensing service? 

introduction of charges free text comment box

The proposal aims to:

Whilst charging for licences is an established practice in government, using small organisations and individuals to pay for investment in licensing services in order to ‘improve’ the imposition of those licenses that are of debateable benefit to the preservation of native bird and animal populations, is highly questionable.

A scientific audit is required to provide clear evidence to support the assertion that charging for licenses actually improves the conservation status of protected species.

Charging for licenses that are produced by a system that is essentially self-perpetuating, cumbersome, and un-reflexive and that will inevitably result in increased costs for many applicants is unethical. Assessment of the processes and procedures within Natural England is required in order to legitimate any charge let alone those proposed. Unfavourable comparisons with private sector efficiency will inevitably be drawn.

To charge for compliance monitoring ostensively to improve environmental outcomes, particularly with regard to Quarry licenses is nonsensical. The cost of such would be prohibitive and the monitoring largely unworkable.

9. Do you have any comments on the proposed charge structure?
Proposed charge structure free text comment box

The proposed charging structure is punitive for individuals and small organisations. The level of increase is unacceptably high and will produce undesirable consequences.

The argument that the proposed fee structure for licenses will actually improve the conservation status of protected species, is shown to be weak 1, by making rehabilitation and release of wild raptors where flying and entering at quarry is necessary, too expensive for private falconers to contemplate, and 2, by hindering the legal recovery of lost captive birds of prey (property) through the imposition of excessive charges for the appropriate license.

10. Do think that the proposed exemptions from charging are reasonable?
What are the reasons for your response?

By failing to include any social, cultural, or traditional exemptions in the charging proposals, Natural England is discriminating against low impact, legal and time-honoured activities. This is effectively an assault upon some branches of falconry, which is a rural sporting tradition that is recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind by UNESCO.

Almost Done…You are about to submit your response. By clicking ‘Submit Response’ you give us permission to analyse and include your response in our results. After you click Submit, you will no longer be able to go back and change any of your answers.

If you provide an email address you will be sent a receipt and a link to a PDF copy of your response.

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